Carol Platt Liebau: What the NIE Report Really Means

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What the NIE Report Really Means

Jack Kelly hits the nail on the head with a brilliant column:

Attacking our enemies does tend to make them angrier. But they were angry enough to start with, and failing to respond to their attacks can have worse consequences than defeating them in battle.

Anyway, all we know about the NIE is what the leaker and the New York Times want us to know. That's not enough. . . .

I'm for declassifying as much of the NIE as can be done without breaching security. But the Bush administration should not be put in the position of having to choose between protecting itself (by declassifying the report and exposing distortions) or protecting our nation's secrets.

What should trouble us most about the New York Times story is not the dubious proposition it advances that the war in Iraq has made the struggle against Islamic radicalism more difficult. It is that there are people in the intelligence community who use secret intelligence for partisan political purposes.


Amen to that. It's long past time for a housecleaning of America's inept, incompetent -- and partisan -- intelligence service.

19 Comments:

Blogger Editor said...

Yes, throw Rumsfeld out is exactly what the Generals want and they also want Bush to stop lying.

10:33 AM  
Blogger eLarson said...

CIA should handle only Open Source intelligence. They have shown themselves incapable of keeping secrets.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

"They hate us anyway" is a stupid argument and suggests a shallow understanding of terrorism.

Basically, Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups need two things to function:

1. Support from enough of the Sunni Muslim population in a country to get enough funds, safe lodging, etc. to operate.

2. A radicalized and angry Muslim youth population from which to draw recruits.

The war in Iraq has done nothing, really, hurt Al Qaeda. Saddam Hussein provided no money, arms, or training ground to Al Qaeda, so his loss of power does nothing to hurt them.

What the war has done is give them huge amounts of the two things above that they need to operate. 9/11 really turned much of the moderate Muslim world against Al Qaeda and the Islamists, but the invasion of a country unrelated to Al Qaeda or 9/11 produced incredible amounts of anti-American feeling that fueled a huge growth of recruits and donations.

Furthermore, Iraq now is much like Afghanistan in 1980s. It is now a training ground for young, pissed off Muslim radicals. The veterans of the Afghan war produced the terrorism of the '90s, and in the same way a new generation of terrorists are getting the training and experience they need in Iraq.

All of this increase in terrorists would be worth it if the war in Iraq achieved some other worthy strategic goal. But it doesn't. The war was started as a part of the war on terror, and it is failing miserably in that regard.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

"They hate us anyway" is a reflection of the fact that they were expanding and attacking American interests before the invasion of Iraq, not a primary reason FOR the invasion.

What the war has done is to force them to expend much of the two points you've listed. We've killed or captured many of their leaders between the two countries in which our troops are engaged. To add to your understanding of the terrorist mindset, it's important to remember that if they fail to make serious headway, it is THEIR will that will be compromised. As more and more of the military responsibilities are turned over to the Iraqis, the country becomes more stabilized. It isn't an overnight process, especially considering their starting point. But the goal of full Iraqi control in a democratic society is a benefit to the entire region as well as to us.

I really have trouble with the feeling that we're "failing miserably" in Iraq. I know the left thought we'd never topple Sadam when we started, never thought it would be done so quickly, and generally underestimated most of what has occurred there. But to believe that because other difficulties have arisen that somehow we are defeated, not up to the task, are failing, is really an indictment on those who hold such attitudes, that they would have such low regard for our people. We have no choice but to prevail, and setbacks are only setbacks, not indicators of failure. As long as we are engaged, we haven't failed. When we leave before it's over, that's when we will have failed. Ain't likely to happen before 2008.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Editor said...

Marshall,

I recall the delusional administration saying such things as; it'll be over in 3 weeks, 6 weeks or at most 6 month, Iraqi oil will pay for the war, it'll be a cake walk, they'll greet us as liberators with flowers, last throes, turning a corner, plan for victory is working, misssion accomplished.

7:18 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

So what's your point? Do you realize that every war was begun with the very same overconfidence and bravado? Check out the book "1776" by David McCullough and you'll find it there from both sides of that conflict. The same has been said concerning the Civil War. Miscalculations, faulty intel, poor execution, all of that and more has been a part of every war ever fought. But the strength of will, perserverance, determination and a clear understanding of the stakes overcome all of it. But you go ahead and bleat on about any negative thing you can find. You have to do all you can to nourish your BDS. I understand that.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Editor said...

Marshall, sorry you can't handle what your administration said.

8:51 PM  
Blogger eLarson said...

stand back! Editor is "remembering" again.

"recall the delusional..."

6:34 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Editor said...
Marshall,

"I recall the delusional administration saying such things as; it'll be over in 3 weeks, 6 weeks or at most 6 month, Iraqi oil will pay for the war, it'll be a cake walk, they'll greet us as liberators with flowers, last throes, turning a corner, plan for victory is working, misssion accomplished."

Prove it! Link to the videos.

6:45 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

These are al the examples of media myth and spin. You can't prove it!

6:48 AM  
Blogger Editor said...

Sure Cliff, another right wing idiot. And next you'll tell us the country was founded to protect your church. Wa-hah!

7:38 AM  
Blogger eLarson said...

And next you'll tell us the country was founded to protect your church. Wa-hah!

What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

8:26 AM  
Blogger Editor said...

Cliff,

Here you go wing nut:



Jun. 29, 2005
Dick Cheney

I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.

Absolutely confident ... democracy in Middle East ... the foundation for Peace

Jun. 29, 2005
George W. Bush
THE PRESIDENT: I am absolutely confident that we made the right decision. And not only that, I'm absolutely confident that the actions we took in Iraq are influencing reformers and freedom lovers in the greater Middle East. And I believe that you're going to see the rise of democracy in many countries in the broader Middle East, which will lay the foundation for peace.


Jul. 02, 2003
George W. Bush
There are some who feel like -- that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring 'em on.

Jul. 24, 2003
Donald H. Rumsfeld
Q: "Quagmire"? Rumsfeld: No. That's someone else's business. Quagmire is -- I don't do quagmires.


Jul. 2, 2003
George W. Bush
There are some who feel like -- that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring 'em on! We've got the force necessary to deal with the security situation.

May 1, 2003
George W. Bush
"Thank you all very much. Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, my fellow Americans: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended." Under the banner "Mission Accomplished." Presidential Documents

Mar. 30, 2003
Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
"We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."

Mar. 27, 2003
Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Defense Secretary
There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.”

Mar. 25, 2003
Richard Perle, Chairman of the Defense Policy Board
I can't tell you exactly how many days or how many weeks. But by
historical standards, this will be a short war.

Mar. 16, 2003
Dick Cheney
"My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. . . . I think it will go relatively quickly, . . . [in] weeks rather than months." --on NBC's Meet the Press

Feb. 7, 2003
Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
"It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months." —to U.S. troops in Aviano, Italy:

Jan. 10, 2003
Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
“Well, the Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question.”

Nov. 15, 2002
Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
"The idea that it's going to be a long, long, long battle of some kind I think is belied by the fact of what happened in 1990," he said on an Infinity Radio call-in program. "Five days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that."


Feb. 13, 2002
Ken Adelman
"I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk.” - Washington Post


Oct. 29, 2001
Michael Leeden, American Enterprise Institute, research fellow
"If we just let our own vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we don't try to be clever and piece together clever diplomatic solutions to this thing, but just wage a total war against these tyrants, I think we will do very well and our children will sing great songs about us years from now."

9:14 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Not so fast, Dittohead. NONE of these prove your claims. For example, this one:

Feb. 13, 2002
Ken Adelman
"I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk.” - Washington Post

We took him out in less than a week, and his stupid military too!
They cut and ran!

How about this one;

Jul. 2, 2003
George W. Bush
There are some who feel like -- that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring 'em on! We've got the force necessary to deal with the security situation.

100% correct!

This one:
Mar. 30, 2003
Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
"We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."

Also correct!

How about this one:
Oct. 29, 2001
Michael Leeden, American Enterprise Institute, research fellow
"If we just let our own vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we don't try to be clever and piece together clever diplomatic solutions to this thing, but just wage a total war against these tyrants, I think we will do very well and our children will sing great songs about us years from now."

Alas, another correct post from Dittohead!

The point is that these quotes are too vague, theyre USLESS in proving your point.

Try again. You loose.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

...And this time come up with quotes with meat and substance!

10:04 AM  
Blogger Editor said...

Cliff,

Speaks for itself but I understand that you don't understand. Too bad there are not cartons to help you out.

10:27 AM  
Blogger eLarson said...

This goes to the "meat grinder" theory, I suppose:
Bush, as quoted here:There are some who feel like -- that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring 'em on! We've got the force necessary to deal with the security situation.

Cliff: 100% correct!

Well, it depends on the level of security expected. The Bush Haters appear to demand something on the order of 1 US soldier for every 1 Iraqi citizen. (Hat tip: Scrappleface)

Naturally, I could be wrong, but since the Haters never really get specific on how many more troops and of which kinds, they'd like to send, I'm left to guess what they mean.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Editor said...

eLarson,

Calling the Major Generals haters now?

They were pretty specific in a congressional hearing yesterday. They want 3 times as many troops, Rumsfeld to resign and Bush to stop lying.

4:06 PM  
Blogger Editor said...

"Attacking our enemies does tend to make them angrier. But they were angry enough to start with, and failing to respond to their attacks can have worse consequences than defeating them in battle.."

What Carol doesn't say is that a couple months ago she was complaining and all the goodness not being report because reporters can't leave the green zone.

Yeah, okay Bush fooled Carol as to how bad Iraq and Afghanistan are. Easy to get fooled when she is sitting in her air-conditioned office getting cheetoes all over her pajamas.

4:23 PM  

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